By Peter Bengtson
AWS is extremely hot right now — according to Ryan Kroonenburg from A Cloud Guru, it is estimated there is a skills shortage of approximately 1.7 million certified AWS professionals worldwide. The cloud is now the uncontested default for startups and for reorganisations of IT infrastructure in general.
Up until quite recently, there used to be five AWS certifications:
The Associate ones can be approached in any order, but it’s considered a good idea to start with the Solutions Architect Associate as it lays the foundations for almost everything else, then the Developer Associate, and finally the Sysops Administrator Associate certification.
The two Professional ones are considered difficult, the AWS Solution Architect Professional in particular: some people say it’s one of the toughest IT certifications in the field. Both require extensive preparation; practical experience with AWS is of course invaluable.
To progress to the Professional certifications, Associate level certifications are required:
To qualify for the Architect Professional, you must be certified as an Architect Associate. The Devops certification requires you have either the Developer Associate or the Sysops Associate.
After working every day in the Amazon cloud since 2012, I thought it might be a good idea to get certification for the kind of work I’ve already been doing. Even more so since many of my colleagues at Diabol AB already have AWS certifications and have worked in the cloud for years.
So, a few days ago I passed the AWS Solution Architect Associate certification.
My end goal is to take all five. In addition to the Architect Professional, the Devops Professional certification is particularly interesting given that Diabol AB specialises in Continuous Delivery and has deep expertise in Devops and Lean/Agile methodologies.
So, to prepare for the Pro ones, I’m taking all three Associate certifications. Since their contents overlap to a large extent — I’d say they are 70% similar — it makes sense to study them together. If all goes well, I’ll have all three before the end of this month.
After that, I need to concentrate on a few AWS technologies and services which I haven’t used yet — AWS is such a rich environment now that nobody knows the entire platform: you have to specialise — before I go for the DevOps Professional. I don’t know exactly when I’ll sit for that. And finally, after some further preparation, the AWS Solution Architect Professional.
And to anyone who has one of the Associate level certifications, I’d say: get the two other ones. It’s not that much work.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting updates covering the various certifications, including thoughts and reflections on the contents and relative difficulties of the respective exams, and also a little on how I’ve studied for them.